Cartier – A history of luxury glasses

Cartier is a luxury brand that was founded in Paris in 1847. It has been synonymous with elegance, refinement, and impeccable craftsmanship for over 150 years. While most people associate Cartier with fine jewellery and watches, the brand has also made a significant impact in the world of eyewear.


Cartier's history in eyewear dates to the early 20th century when the brand began creating eyeglasses and sunglasses for its wealthy clients. In 1904, Louis Cartier designed a pair of aviator style glasses for Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont. These glasses, which featured a lightweight metal frame and tinted lenses, were specifically designed to provide protection and visibility for Santos-Dumont during his flights.


Over the next few decades, Cartier continued to create innovative eyewear designs, incorporating precious materials such as gold and diamonds into its frames. In the 1920s, the brand introduced a collection of eyeglasses that featured intricately carved motifs and enamel details, which were inspired by the Art Deco movement of the time.


In the 1950s and 1960s, Cartier's eyewear designs began to reflect the changing tastes and styles of the era. The brand introduced a collection of sunglasses that featured oversized frames and bold, geometric shapes, which were popular among the fashion-forward set of the time.


In the 1970s and 1980s, Cartier's eyewear designs became more extravagant, incorporating exotic materials such as alligator skin and buffalo horn into its frames. The brand also introduced a range of sun glasses that featured interchangeable lenses, allowing wearers to customise their look based on their mood or outfit.


In the 1990s and early 2000s, Cartier's eyewear designs became more streamlined and understated, with a focus on classic shapes and clean lines. The brand also began to incorporate technological innovations into its designs, such as lightweight and flexible materials that provided maximum comfort and durability.


Today, Cartier's eyewear collection continues to be synonymous with luxury, quality, and innovation. The brand's designs range from classic and timeless to bold and avant-garde, with a focus on impeccable craftsmanship and attention to detail. Whether you're looking for a pair of elegant eyeglasses or a statement-making pair of vintage sunglasses, Cartier is sure to have a design that suits your style and needs.



Throughout its history, Cartier's eyewear designs have been worn by some of the world's most stylish and influential figures. From celebrities and fashion icons to political leaders and royalty, Cartier's vintage designer sunglasses have been a fixture on the faces of the rich and famous for generations.


One of the most notable moments in Cartier's history in eyewear was the introduction of the Santos de Cartier glasses in 1979. Inspired by the aviator glasses designed for Santos-Dumont in 1904, the Santos de Cartier glasses featured a distinctive hinge that allowed the glasses to be folded and stored easily in a pocket. The design became an instant classic and remains one of Cartier's most popular sunglasses styles to this day.


Another iconic Cartier eyewear design is the Panthère de Cartier glasses, which were first introduced in 1983. These glasses featured a distinctive panther motif on the temples, which has become a signature element of the brand's eyewear collection. The Panthère de Cartier glasses remain a popular choice for those looking for a bold and statement-making eyewear style.


In recent years, Cartier has continued to push the boundaries of eyewear design, incorporating cutting-edge materials and innovative technologies into its frames to make unique sunglasses. The brand's latest eyewear collections feature ultra-lightweight frames made from materials such as carbon fibre and titanium, as well as advanced lens technologies that offer unparalleled clarity and protection.


Despite its long history and reputation for luxury, Cartier remains a brand that is committed to innovation and sustainability. The brand has taken steps to reduce its environmental impact by using responsibly sourced materials and implementing sustainable production practices.


Why buy Cartier glasses?

With its optical glasses, Cartier upholds their well-known global reputation for sophisticated, classic luxury and high calibre. Cartier eyewear is made with the same meticulous attention to detail and high standards as their jewellery.


Although some of their less costly eyewear has acetate frames, many of Cartier’s eye and sunglasses frames are manufactured from "noble materials such as wood and horn" or precious metals, such as platinum, gold, and titanium.



Despite being mass-produced, the frames are designed and created by master craftspeople, displaying the same precision and attention to detail as the company’s famed jewellery techniques. Plus, they’re finished by hand to ensure that each pair is perfect.



In conclusion, Cartier's history in eyewear is a testament to the brand's commitment to innovation, quality, and timeless style. From its early days designing aviator glasses to its current collection of luxury eyewear, Cartier has remained at the forefront of the industry, setting trends and pushing boundaries with its designs. Whether you're a fan of the brand or simply appreciate exceptional craftsmanship and design, Cartier's eyewear collection is a must-see for anyone with an interest in luxury eyewear.


If you are as enthralled with Cartier’s signature flair and sophistication demonstrated in their frames, then please browse the frames available here at Vision Gallerie. At Vision Gallerie, we collect both staple and unique frames from across the decades and around the world to stock in our eyeglasses and sunglasses store.



Thanks to our passion and perfectionism, our inventory features the best models in flawless condition, from staple Cartier sunglasses lines to unique pieces, one-of-a-kind commissions and limited edition models.

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